july, july!

dear you,

because most people say 'July in July!' I'm going to make like Dolly Parton & just say it before anyone else does.

It's July! I'm July!

We got that out of the way!

I went to see my family for the first time since SiP started on Saturday, for a socially distant visit/walk at the Davis arboretum. It was 104 degrees, and I--having lived in Oakland for nearly fifteen years & wholly unaccustomed to the boiling heat in which I was raised-- felt it like a mikva. A kind of searing clean. I sweat & sweat & sweat & came home & slept for twelve hours.

In a time when being disassociated seems to be the norm, feeling vibrantly & uncomfortably in my body actually felt wonderful. Remembering that there is an outside world that responds to the sun/elements felt wonderful.

It's an everyday practice, isn't it? This whole 'being okay in the world right now' thing.

One thing I'm actively trying--& failing-- to do is to not use my own productivity as a coping mechanism. While we're all still busy as hell, I have to remind myself nearly daily that it's okay to step away from the screens in my life. That I deserve to feel the sun on my face. I deserve to do the things that remind me that I'm human, like sweat in my car to summer tunes. Like sleep in. Like lay on the floor & stare at the ceiling. Like do art.

Are you, too, remembering to do art? To be your fiercest creative self? I'm here for you however I can be. Not only do I have new offerings added weekly to my website, I also created a new author Instagram where I'll be posting updates, videos, readings, & more.

In addition to my personal offerings, PULP's new site has officially launched! Check it out to start reading pulpy content, stay abreast of our educational offerings, & keep us juiced.

So much love for you.


PS- haven't yet gotten your paws on a copy of "Via Negativa"? It's still hot off the presses, with even more glowing press (see what I did there?). A write-up in Coal Hill Review said this of the collection: ""Westhale’s willingness to be vulnerable as a poet allows the reader to find not reflections of their own experiences, but meaningful resonances that engender a powerful connection between Westhale and the reader.".

Order "Via Negativa" here.